Self esteem is worth dying for! – Bhagavad Gita Verses 2.35-2.37

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Assuming Arjuna asks, "how will I have ill-fame just by going away?",
    Krishna reminds Arjuna of the different implications of ill-fame.
    Krishna says

    Bhayaadr(u)Naaduparatham mamsyanthae thvaam mahaarathaa:
    Yaeshaam cha thvam bahumatha:, bhoothvaa yaasyasi laaghavam 2.35

    (These) great warriors also will consider you to have withdrawn from this war out of fear. Having been honourable to such (warriors), you will come to disgrace.

    Krishna argues, if Arjuna dos not act now, the world will not understand that his inaction is out of compassion and tenderness towards life. They will laugh that he ran away from the battlefield out of sheer fright at the sight of Duryodhana's army! Those who had a great opinion about him, will esteem him less. They will ridicule his inefficiency, scorn his prowess and make fun of his valour. For a man of honour and repute, this is a very telling point.

    There was no dharma involved, nor prudence. Krishna told Arjuna that running away would be a ridiculous and not an ethical action. He would lose all the name and fame that he had so far earned and that would be more painful than death.
    Thus Krishna helps Arjuna break through the state of suspension by raising a point that will touch his heart and mind and induce him to fight.

    Krishna says:

    Avaachya vaadaams(h)cha bahoon, vadishyanthi thavaahithaa:
    Nindanthasthava saamarthyam, thathO dukha:tharam nu kim 2.36

    Moreover, looking down upon your ability, your enemies will utter many unmentionable words. What can be more painful than this?

    Krishna says, if Arjuna does not fight, Duryodhana would be victorious without a shooting an arrow and would definitely not have allowed the news of Arjuna's real reasons to spread because he would not want the people to look upon Arjuna and the Pandavas as truly great. He would instead say that Arjuna ran out of sheer fear.

    So, Krishna asks Arjuna to get up and fight. He shows Arjuna the rewards that fighting will bring him both in this life and hereafter

    HatO vaa praapsyasi svargam jithvaa vaa bhOkshyasae maheem
    Thasmaad uththishta kaunthaeya, yuddhaaya kruthanis(h)chaya: 2.37

    Killed, you will attain heaven. Or, victorious, you will enjoy this world. Therefore , decide to get up, Oh Arjuna !

    This verse considers the performance of duty from the point of view of gain.
    Inaction is suicidal. Meeting the challenge is the glory of life. Success need not be the ultimate goal. The spirit with which we act is more important. Act, act and act. Otherwise one will be benumbed by frustration and sorrow.

    Please read the following post now. It is very apt here.
    Why should we act? - Gita's answer

    Love,
    Chithra.




     
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  2. aishu22

    aishu22 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Chithra,
    Once more a great teaching given by Krishna and you brought it in simple words for us to understand.Actions and self esteem - Both are things which make a person.To act is a karma and to do it correctly is certainly an art.Most of the time i plan some good things, but to put it into actions take a lot of time and sometimes goes undone.After reading and re reading this beautiful teachings, i will definitely make it a point to ACT!I do always have a fear about the end result of my actions and feel finicky to even touch that.I get confused whether to proceed or not at that juncture. Personally i feel that these verses from Gita have been given esp. for me !!!

    Thanks for the lucid explanation.
     
  3. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    Another great title. I would never have thought that Arjuna would run away because of fear but that is definetly what the world will think of if he had run away. And ofcourse not an ethical action. Again and krishna argues on so many different levels why Arjuna should fight. It is so interesting to read so many different views. It is more important to note here why Success in not the only goal. And the ultimate importance of action. Thanks for writing so clearly.
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra,

    Another worthy lesson from the Gita.

    It is very true that when we do not perform the right actions at the time of necessity, we feel frustrated and unhappy.

    Me being what I am, can only think of my little world...my home. I know that when I have not cleaned a certain corner or have neglected some task, that corner or task is always haunting my mind not giving me the peace. I am then in a bad mood and frustrated and restless. All home makers will agree that when a task is done..it can be as small as cleaning the windows and dusting the rooms... a certain 'clean' happiness elates us and keeps us joyful! I know, it is blasphemy to compare Arjuna's duties to our insignificant little tasks, but the basic feelings can be the same!

    Arjuna would have been a one unhappy man if he had let the Kauravas go without a fight. I have always found Arjuna all the more endearing inspite of and because of all the misgivings he had about the war.
    Also, we have to thank him for the wonderful Gita, right?!
    In trying to ease Arjuna's pain, the Lord bequeathed humanity with Gita.

    And now you explain it all to us in your simple and easy way, thanks. Also, thanks for that link, I loved reading those lines once again.

    L, Kamla
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Aish,
    Thanks for the prompt Fb !
    Generally elders say that if we want to do something good, we must act immediately.
    Otherwise, we might reconsider endlessly & reverse the decision very often !
    This applies more to charity, my father used to say.
    When I write next on karma yoga in detail, you will realise that it is not worth having a fear about the end result of one's actions.
    Love,
    Chithra.




     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC,
    Yes, I too love the title, a very good friend, kindly suggested to me for this post.
    Arjuna was trying to run away more because of "emotional confused state" - but the world would have attributed it to his timidity. Hence Krishna is very particular that he should weigh all the pros and cons & take the right decision.
    More than anticipating success, acting the right way at the right time is more important. As I wrote
    Action is the Signature of Life.
    Love,
    Chithra.



     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla,
    I did'nt see you in my last thread - so was wondering if you were busy! Yes, I now know, you were busy with some action(s)!
    I do not think, any task is insignificant at all. Do not ever think so. A clean well maintained house is a woman's responsibility as much as action is to a warrior in the battlefield.
    Now, let me share with you the thoughts, my friend shared with me on this topic. He says that Krishna wanted to give the teaching of Gita & arrived at it finally after explaining to Arjuna from various angles as to how he was failing in his duty ! Krishna "literally" created the opportune moment for "bequeathing" Gita on humanity.I think, he is correct as well.
    Love,
    Chithra.


     
  8. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chith

    Your bringing us different view points of every week and it is really thought provoking. And your simple narration makes it more beautiful. So inaction will directly affect one's self esteem.So inaction in whatever means is not acceptable.

    Love
    Vidhi
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidhi,
    Please attribute this line to Krishna.

    Your bringing us different view points of every week and it is really thought provoking.

    I am just a "channel" conveying his message here !
    Inaction can never have a valid reason.So, it does affect the person's self-esteem indirectly.
    Thanks, Vidhi.
    Love,
    Chithra.

     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    This thread takes me back to another Avatar, Lord Rama. Though Rama is yet another incarnation of Vishnu, He goes through His Avatar just as any human being would go through his life. That is the beauty of this Avatar. But I am not referring to Lord Rama here but to that of His ardent Baktha, Hanuman.

    When the Lord choses Hanuman to go to Lanka to meet Seetha and assure Her of Her deliverance soon, Hanuman is a bit hesitant about His own capabilities to undertake this task. Thereupon, Jambavan reminds Hanuman of His immense strength and exhorts Him to take up the task. Hearing Jambavan, Hanuman feels a great surge of power and strength and how He crosses the sea etc is known to everyone.

    Lord Krishna follows the same strategy here but instead of telling Arjuna of his strength and power, the Lord points out to Arjuna what would happen if Arjuna fails to use his power for the protection of Dharma. Neither Hanuman nor Arjuna is unaware of his power. In the case of Hanuman, it is his utter humility in the presence of his Lord that clouds his awareness of his power and Jambavan has to step in to point it out but in the case of Arjuna, he knows that he is far superior to his enemy in power. This point does not need any elaboration and the Lord knows it. So He adopts a different approach here.

    This brings us to the vital question of how we should react when facing a dilemma in our life. The first aspect to be considered is whether we are equipped to handle it and the second is what would happen if we do not handle it. That's why the scholars say that the Kurukshetra war is not over with the banishment of the Kauravas but it continues in every human mind eternally!
    Sri
     

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